It all started in 1999 when my wife Annette realized she needed a new car. At the time I was pretty disappointed with the way all car bodies rotted away after a few years of use on our salt covered winter roads. Somehow I talked her into a Saturn even though she really wanted another Honda. She did win in that she wanted a basic car and we only wound up with air conditioning because the car we purchased was a return and the dealer threw it in for the price of a base SL1. Otherwise the car had no other options.
By the spring of 2000 I was starting to really like her little SL1, especially at how frugal it was on a tank of fuel compared to my 1991 Ford Explorer. So in the spring of 2000 I ordered my very own Saturn SL2. Right from the start I wanted more extras such as power windows and doors and it was a real bonus that the 2000 cars came standard with a CD player!
The one thing I really didn't like on any of the Saturns I had seen were the wheels and my little SL2 was no exception. So even before I took delivery of the car I bought a set of wheels and tires. The original tires were 205/45 16 inchers from Bridgestone and they stuck to the road like glue. They also transmitted just about every little irregularity I encountered on the road. But they lasted for just over 150,000 kilometers. I basically wore the tires down past the wear bars so they had to be replaced and this time I went cheap. I installed Canadian Tire's UHP 205/50 16 inch tires and had the alignment adjusted. These tires aren't that bad considering they are about 1/3 the cost of the tires I replaced and they are softer because of the difference in the height of the sidewalls 50 series vs 45 series.
Last year our little SL1 blew up it's motor, the dealer told us it would cost around $6000 to install a new motor! We figured the SL1 was a goner though we did locate a shop that would install a wrecker motor for under $2000. We figured we'd get the motor installed and sell the car. So we wound up buying a really nice used 99 SL2 for under $6000 instead. Turns out that when we got our SL1 back it ran better than we expected so we decided to keep it as well and that is how we wound up with three S series Saturns!
Our 1999 SL2 that we bought used. The car had the leather interior which I now wish I had opted for, nice. Also came with PIAA fog lights professionally installed as well as aluminum wheels and a second set of winter snow tires on steel rims plus the Profile V bug deflector. I think one of the easist ways to change the appearance of your Saturn is to install a nice set of aluminum rims on your car!
Click on the above photo for a short page on the installation of my Thermal RD cat back exhaust system.
Click on the above photo to see a short page about how to install a strut tower brace for your Saturn.
Click on the above photo for a short page on audio installation.
Does your Saturn have rust? Click on the photo to access a short page on rust trouble spots.
Click on the above photo for some observations on wheel and tire upgrades.
Some useful part numbers.